It must be hard to be the Sports Editor at the newspaper where the Green Bay Packers got their start. What with decades of tradition breathing down your neck all the time. A job like that could only be filled by the best and the brightest.
Which is why it is such a sad state of affairs that it is currently filled by Mike Vandermause.
Am I overly harsh on Mike? Perhaps. He's nothing if not bland and unobtrusive in his writing. But when he foists columns like this doozy, stating that the Packers are in for a calm, boring training camp because of the lack of position battles, you just have to shake your head and start rooting around for instructions on how to apply for his job, because clearly he's not very good at it.
Vandermause treats us to the following foolishness:
There are just two starting positions up for grabs. Upstart Allen Barbre appears to have an edge over incumbent Daryn Colledge at left guard, while Brady Poppinga and Brandon Chillar should wage a spirited fight at strong-side linebacker.
Really? So the fact that Aaron Rouse outplayed Nick Collins last year, followed by Collins being downright awful in both playoff games, leaves Collins as the undisputed starter? (McCarthy himself has all but said the starting spots are up for grabs) And I must have missed the quote from McCarthy stating that Jason Spitz' job was safe. And what about Cullen Jenkins? Word is that he's been seeing a lot more time inside at defensive tackle at the recent OTAs, after what can only be described as a disappointing season as the starting right defensive end. And while the starting position may be locked up, Vandermause conveniently forgets that the depth chart at running back is far from settled.
Competition is what Thompson and McCarthy's roster is all about. To suggest that the roster is as settled as Vandermause makes it seem is foolish and downright naive. In fact, it's a bit of a shock that the man is in charge of the Packers' coverage at what can only be deemed as a historic institution for true Packer fans everywhere. Now, I have no doubt Mike is finding it hard coming up with things to write about here in the deadest of dead times for the NFL, but it is the man's profession after all. If he needs help with column ideas, I suggest he visit our friends over at Railbird Central, who's Brian Carriveau has more good posts in a day than Vandermause has quality columns in a month, or PackerGeeks who's Andy and Stephen Hayes never want for good material.